Sunday, October 10, 2010

Malaysia punished seven times

MALAYSIA, world No 15, were hammered 7-0 by World No 1 and three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallists in Group A of the men’s hockey tournament yesterday.
And it could have been eight, if not for the missed penalty stroke early when veteran Jamie Dwyer hit the crossbar off a sixth-minute penalty stroke.
Luke Doerner notched a hat-trick off powerful penalty corner drag flicks in the fifth, 16th and 47th minutes for the world champions, who had already qualified for the semi- finals before playing Malaysia.
The other goals were scored by Simon Orchard (11th), Glenn Turner (21st), Chris Ciriello (45th) and Eddie Ock enden (55th).
Malaysia will now play in the classification matches.
The Malaysian team fielded their best but could only beat Scotland 2-0 in the Games. They lost 3-2 to India and 4-1 to Pakistan.

Tindall, Tindall little star!

Pic: James Tindall.

JAMES Tindall scored the winner as England cruised to the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey with a 2-1 win against South Africa here on Sunday.
England finished their Pool B engagements with 10 points from four matches while South Africa remained on six after going down to their second defeat in the tournament.
In the semis, Jason Lee’s men will meet the winner of the India-Pakistan tie set for later Sunday.
England owed their win to Tindall, who had scored a hat-trick in the team’s 5-3 win over New Zealand on Saturday.
The ace striker struck the all-important goal four minutes from the final hooter after midfielder Taine Paton levelled the scores in the 45th minute of the tie played under the mid-day sun at the Major Dhyan Chand stadium.
England, the world number four, went into the lead as early as the eighth minute with mid-fielder Ashley Jackson scoring a field goal.
England’s best finish in the Commonwealth Games came in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur where they bagged a bronze.
Tindall said the players were tired and had to fight hard for the win.
“Playing four games in five days in this heat is very tough,” said the 27-year-old. “Playing a sport in this kind of weather is one of the biggest challenges.
“The South Africans pressed hard and made scoring difficult for us. But we are among the top five teams in the world and we want to start winning these kind of tournaments. So winning today’s game was very important.” South Africa, ranked number 12 in the world, will now play classification matches for the 5th-6th places.
South African captain Austin Smith said the team came under pressure after conceding an early goal.
“We were not looking to be down 1-0 so early,” he said. “We should not have conceded that goal. It put us under a lot of pressure. Tindall’s strike was a big blow for us.
“There were some technical errors. The long ball from the back wasn’t trapped. We didn’t take advantage of our chances, and we missed a lot.”

Kiwi gamble pays off

New Zealand substituted their goalkeeper with an extra outfield player to draw 1-1 with Canada and move into the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey here Saturday.
The Black Sticks, trailing Canada 1-0 with just four minutes to go, replaced keeper Kyle Pontifex with striker Stephen Jenness and got the result they wanted with Hayden Shaw netting the equaliser in the 68th minute.
The draw left Canada on five points while New Zealand got the seven they needed to move into the last four, where they will take on defending champions Australia on Tuesday.
Canada almost blundered the chance to take a lead when forward Iain Smythe failed to put the ball in from near the goal-mouth but Sukhwinder Singh showed fine reflexes and made up for his team-mate’s mistake.
Canada maintained their 1-0 lead, taken in the eighth minute, almost till the end and looked set to emerge as the winners when the New Zealand coach made the move to substitute the keeper.
The ploy paid off as New Zealand forced a penalty corner with just two minutes from the final hooter and Shaw made no mistake in scoring.